Michigan Voters File Brief in Case Demanding a Special U.S. House Election Earlier than November 2018

John Conyers of Michigan resigned from the U.S. House on December 5, 2017. Governor Rick Snyder then said the vacancy would be filled on November 6, 2018, meaning that the seat would be vacant for almost eleven months. Some Michigan voters in the 13th district then sued to obtain an earlier special election.

On February 2, the voters filed their 12-page brief. Rhodes v Snyder, e.d., 17cv-14186.


Comments

Michigan Voters File Brief in Case Demanding a Special U.S. House Election Earlier than November 2018 — 13 Comments

  1. One more frivolous JUNK case.

    NO time deadline in Art I, Sec. 2, Cl 4 —

    When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

  2. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the governor can do so in an arbitrary manner.

    It is strange that the brief says that Thaddeus McCotter resigned while John Conyers retired. In a sense, the two cases were handled the same, with a general election in November of the last year of the term. The only difference is that a special primary was held, because McCotter resigned in July.

    The matter of when any election, including a special election to fill a vacancy is a time regulation, and either the legislature or Congress could set a schedule. Congress has already done so for certain cases.

  3. Again –
    another amdt section —

    Sec. NN. (1) All legislative body candidates and members shall file one or more rank order lists of persons to replace the candidate or member (temporary or permanent) during an election time or term.
    (2) The qualified person who is highest on the list shall fill such vacancy.
    (3) If the preceding does not happen, then the legislative body shall fill such vacancy with a person of the same party immediately at its next meeting.

    [NO more vacancy special elections for legislators.]

  4. A special primary is scheduled this August for the “Conyers vacancy” as well. The key differences are:

    * McCotter resigned in July, while Conyers resigned in December — so the gap in representation would be much longer in this case unless the suit succeeds in a timely manner.

    * And, of course, McCotter was a Republican in a safe Republican district — one he helped draw for himself, IIRC — while Conyers was a Democrat in a safe Democratic district.

    Now, why would anybody suspect that the same Republican governor in both cases might have a partisan motive for allowing so much longer a gap this time? . . .

  5. @DR, In this case, John Conyers was allegedly engaged in behavior that could have resulted in his censure, or expulsion from the House, and who may previously had $27,000 paid to hide his official misbehavior. I did not find any mention of “droit du seigneur” in Sources of Liberty. Do you really think Conyers should have been able to appoint his son?

  6. @JALP,

    The August special primary is coincident with the regular primary which will choose Conyer’s successor. In 2012, McCotter’s resignation was too close to the regular primary. Remember that at minimum, McCotter flubbed up the petition to run in the regular primary (it is more likely that there was malfeasance on the part of he and/or his staff). He also was going to try to be nominated as a write-in candidate.

    So the special September primary was only to catch up with the regular schedule (and clearly the safe Republican district was not safe enough).

    The Governor’s action is entirely within the terms of MCL 168.633.

  7. JR – yes — NO VACANCY

    Legislative bodies now must be 100 pct filled 24/7 — for the public safety.

  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Designated_Survivor_(TV_series)

    EPISODE 1 – BIG BOMB BLOWS UP IN USA CAPITOL — MOST OF USA GERRYMANDER CONGRESS FOLKS ARE KILLED.

    MAJOR CHAOS IN GETTING SUPER-EMERGENCY VACANCY ELECTIONS OF USA REPS.

    WHO DONE IT ??? — LOTS OF SUSPECTS.

    HOW MANY *REAL* ANTI-DEMOCRACY PLOTS GOING ON AND ON AND ON — BY THE USUAL (AND UN-USUAL) SUSPECTS ???

    REPEAT –

    Legislative bodies now must be 100 pct filled 24/7 — for the public safety.

  9. The Democrat won the special election after McCotter resigned. A Rupblican won the general for the new term.

  10. @Jim Riley, McCotter’s resignation came after petition scandals severe enough to provoke the Republican Secretary of State to recommend a criminal investigation to the Republican Attorney General. Some of his aides were convicted of or pled guilty to crimes in connection which saw some of his aides con

    So it’s perhaps not too surprising that a Democrat who wasn’t running in the general election eked out a win with 48.39% of the vote to 46.10% for the Republican (who was running in the general election too, and won that with 50.76% of the vote versus 44.36% for a different Democrat). The other 5.51% went to a Libertarian and a U.S. Taxpayers Party candidate. (The latter is the old name for the Constitution Party, of course; Michigan won’t let you change your party’s name after you qualify with it, even if your national party changes its name.)

    Of course, my main point was actually the length of the gap in representation, eleven months versus four. Your comment mentions that there was not enough time to make the special primary align with the regular primary in 2012 — while there were earlier options for an election to fill the current vacancy. And yes, Snyder’s actions are permitted under MCL 168.633 — as the last option — but again, he had earlier options. And I’m sure you’ve noticed before — but there are a lot of things in this world that are legal . . . but wrong.

  11. Sorry — got too involved in finishing the last paragraph, and forgot to fix the first one. It should say:

    “@Jim Riley, McCotter’s resignation came after petition scandals severe enough to provoke the Republican Secretary of State to recommend a criminal investigation to the Republican Attorney General. Some of his aides were convicted of or pled guilty/no contest to criminal charges in connection with the scandals. Mind you, one was incarcerated for a whole 20 days, and another for a day as well as drawing two years of probation; the others got probation only.”

  12. MCL 168.633 is the problem because it leaves it up to the governor. Other states require a congressional election to be sooner rather than later.

    Other states sometimes require a special election to be coincident with a general election, if the general election is imminent, but otherwise require a sooner special election.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *